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    Vegetable Harvest Times

    Edame soybean harvest 1

    Timing is everything when it comes to the home vegetable garden harvest. Once vegetables are picked they immediately begin to lose flavor, tenderness, and nutritional value. Harvest your crops as close to the time you plan to serve them, within an hour or less of serving time is best. How do you know when it […] More

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    How to Grow Onion Sets


    Onion sets are small, dry onion bulbs grown the previous season but not allowed to mature. Grow your own onion sets from seed. It is not difficult, does not require much time, and can put you ahead in both time and money. Planted in the second season onion sets produce an early crop of bulb […] More

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    Hand Pollination of Vegetables

    Hand pollination

    Hand pollination is the manual transfer of pollen from the stamen of one plant to the pistil of another–that is from a male flower to a female flower. Members of the Cucurbit family–squash, melons, pumpkins, and cucumbers–often have pollination problems because the male flowers commonly open days before the female flowers and so often drop […] More

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    Clouds and Predicting the Weather

    Cloud Cirrus horizontal

    Clouds often indicate weather changes. The source of clouds is water that evaporates into the air. The water can come from oceans, lakes, and rivers. Plants also give off water vapor. Clouds form when water vapor cools and condenses. Condensed water droplets ride air currents as clouds. Water droplets riding air currents may (1) simply […] More

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    How to Harvest, Cure, and Store Winter Squash

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    Harvest winter squashes when they are mature. Winter squash is mature when its rind cannot be scratched with a thumbnail. Winter squashes include Acorn, Butternut, Hubbard, Banana, Buttercup, Spaghetti, and pumpkins. Winter squash refers to squash planted in spring, grown in summer, harvested in fall, and stored for winter use. Winter squashes require more days […] More

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    Powdery Mildew Defense


    Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that causes a white coating on leaves, stems, and flowers of plants. Powdery mildew attacks beans, peas, lettuce, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squash and other plants including many annual and perennial flowers and shrubs. Powdery mildew fungal spores germinate on the dry surface of leaves when humidity is high and […] More

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    Tender crop planting tips

    Eggplant seedlings

      When nighttime temperatures are consistently warner than 60°F it will be time to plant tender crops such as eggplant, melons, squash, and zucchini. Prepare the planting spots these crops by for digging holes 12 inches square, 12 inches deep, and 3 feet apart. Add a forkful of well-rotted compost or manure to the bottom […] More

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    Spring Salad Garden Growing Tips

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    Spinach, baby chard, and crisp lettuce are easy-to-grow spring salad greens. When to plant and soil temperature are the keys to spring vegetable gardening. Greens—arugula, beet greens, collards, kales, and lettuce–are foundation crops for early spring because they germinate in chilly temperatures. Greens will take longer to grow in early spring than in late spring […] More

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    Corn, Beans, and Squash: The Three Sisters

    Corn and beans 2

    Sometimes one vegetable crop can help another vegetable crop grow better just by being nearby. For example lettuce and spinach often grow better in the shade of a taller plant. Growing two or more crops in close proximity for a shared benefit is called companion planting. A classic planting of three garden companions is corn, […] More

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    Pole Bean Planting Tips

    Vertical A frame support

    Pole beans are heavy producers for the relatively small area of garden space they require. Choose a spot in full sun, loosen the soil to a depth of 1 foot, and add a 4-inch layer of aged compost or organic soil amendment—but not manure (beans produce their own nitrogen). Plant 5 seeds around the base […] More